Page 11 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - September 2017 - 24-09
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Kevin Brewton, MD
Each September we focus in on spreading the word about prostate health and prostate cancer awareness. With nearly 1 in 7 men diagnosed in their lifetime, it’s important to know the facts about prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in U.S. men. While that is a startling statistic, most men will not ultimately die from the disease. Why? Prostate cancers usually grow slowly and most men diagnosed with the cancer are over age 65. The Prostate Cancer Foundation notes that nearly three million U.S. men are currently living with prostate cancer.
Although the number of men living with the disease is impressive, prostate cancer is still the third leading cause
of cancer death for men. Deaths due
to prostate cancer are outpaced only
by lung and colorectal cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 27,000 men will die from prostate cancer this year alone.
With over 160,000 new projected cases of prostate cancer diagnosed just this year, what do you need to know to take control of your prostate health?
A small gland located underneath the bladder, a healthy prostate usually goes unnoticed. As men age, the prostate can begin to grow, causing difficulty with urination. An enlarged prostate can cause hesitancy, urgency and pain. This growth in the prostate, often non-cancerous,
can be treated with medication, lifestyle changes or surgery.
The symptoms for prostate cancer vary from man to man. Some men may have no symptoms at all. Symptoms may include the following:
• Difficulty starting urination
• Frequent urination, especially at night • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
• Difficulty emptying the bladder
• Pain or burning during urination • Blood in urine or semen
• Painful ejaculation
If you have any of these or other symptoms, speak with your doctor.
It is also important to understand your risk factors for prostate cancer. Age is your greatest risk. As you grow older, your chance of acquiring prostate cancer grows. The American Cancer Society states that 6 out of 10 men diagnosed are over the age of 65. The average age of diagnosis is about 66.
Family history is also an indicator
of risk. If you have a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer, you are two to three times more likely to develop prostate cancer.
Race is also a contributing factor. Prostate cancer is more common in African-American men. It also tends to start younger and progress faster than in other groups of men. To date, there has been no determination as to why this is the case.
Screening options for prostate cancer are available. The digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) test are the most common. These and other tests are being studied for how they help in diagnosing the cancer while also decreasing the chances of dying. The Centers for Disease Control states that medical groups do not agree on any specific screening recommendations for every circumstance.
If a blood test is performed and it comes back not normal, the only way to determine if this is due to cancer is to do a biopsy. With a biopsy, small pieces of the prostate can be examined in a lab. If cancer is detected, your doctor will discuss treatment options. Options can include consistent monitoring, radiation or surgery.
There is no one screening or one treatment that is best for every man. If you have concerns or questions, you should speak to your doctor.
Kevin Brewton, MD is a doctor at Bronson Urology Specialists. Bronson Urology Specialists treat men experienc- ing problems with their urinary tract. This includes kidneys, ureter, bladder and urethra, as well as the reproductive system. Bronson Urology Specialists is located at 4441 Capital Avenue SW in Battle Creek and 358 East Chicago St., Suite 203 in Coldwater. For information, or to make an appointment, call (800) 979-6667.
Senior Times - September 2017
Page 11
Legal Advice
The Legal Services of South Central Michigan will conduct interviews for legal advice and possible representation, without charge.
For more information please contact Megan Reynolds, at (269) 965-3951.
• Mon, Sept 18, 11am-12pm, Sturgis Senior Center, 306 N. Franks Avenue.
• Wed, Sept 20, 10am-12pm, Burnside Senior Center, 65 Grahl, Coldwater.
• Wed, Sept 27, 11am-12pm, Marshall House, 200 E. Spruce, Marshall.
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